How to Travel with your Dog
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you’ve been traveling with your dog !
And tell us about your dog whom you travel with!
When/why did you give up your permanent address?
Tell us about the logistics of your travel with a dog.
There are three things I always research up front:
The first is my destination country’s entry requirements. Many countries require an international microchip (an easy, one-time, out-patient procedure for your pooch), proof of up-to-date rabies vaccinations, and some paperwork that a certified vet can fill out for you saying that your pet is healthy and able to travel. For rabies-free countries, there are sometimes additional requirements (like tapeworm treatments or a rabies blood test). And there are a few very strict countries that require a quarantine or will only let your pet in from another rabies-free country. Once I know what my destination’s requirements are, I can plan accordingly.
The second thing I research is transportation. Airline, ferry, cruise ship, train, and bus pet-friendliness varies by company and country. There’s always a way to get Luna into the next country, but not all transportation is created equal when it comes to pets!
Finally, I always research vets before going to a new city or country. The name, address, and phone number of the nearest pet emergency room is one of the most important things I pack.
Are there any countries you’ve opted not to visit because they’re not dog friendly?
So far, no! I tend to believe that where there’s a will, there’s a way. And more countries are becoming pet-friendly every year. In fact, the U.K. just lifted its pet quarantine requirements in 2012 and Hawaii followed suit. We’ve already hit the U.K. since then and plan on checking Hawaii out soon.
What’s it like traveling with your dog? Do you ever get homesick?
My life of full-time travel isn’t actually so different from my life back in Denver. I still work pretty normal hours. I still make clients my number one priority. I still have to walk the dog and go grocery shopping. The real difference is that when I am done working for the day, I always have something new and different to explore. I can spend my lunch break eating sausage in a German farmer’s market or my weekends hiking the Swiss Alps.
And as for homesickness…Anywhere with new friends (or old friends), a warm cup of tea, a good book, and Luna can feel like home to me.
How do you deal with vet issues while you’re in foreign countries – particularly if they’re not English-speaking when you travel with your dog?
When I’m researching vets ahead of time, I look for either: A) a website in English or B) reviews by English speakers noting that the vets speak English. If I can’t find these things (or to confirm), I generally send an email to the vet before I arrive asking if they speak English. I’ve had really good luck so far.
What do your friends and family think of your traveling, dog-owning life?
Some think I’m crazy, some think I’m glamorous, and just about everybody thinks I’m interesting (albeit sometimes in a shaking-their-heads-incredulously-at-me way).
What advice would you give to others interested to travel with their dogs?
Always carry copies of everything and never freak out.
Before you go to the airport/ferry terminal/guest house/etc., print out (or screenshot on your phone) the airline’s pet policy, any emails you’ve exchanged with customer service, the guest house’s confirmation that it’s okay for you to bring a pet, etc. If you end up talking to someone who isn’t well-versed in the organization’s pet policy, it’s nice to have those kinds of things on hand.
Above all, don’t stress. Traveling with a pet is easier than I ever thought it would be. As long as you plan accordingly, you’ll be fine.
Thanks so much for sharing, Gigi! Do any of you guys travel with your pets? How do you manage it?